In some ways it has been a challenging summer weather-wise. We had a lot of rain early on but July brought some extremely oppressive heat. Then August was a bit more pleasant with some more rain and milder temperatures. We are now into September and I have no idea what the weather holds for us in the upcoming fall months.
I do know that September is a time of transition for some people. All of us are transitioning from the summer to fall mode. But some are making geographical or work or school transitions. I would simply ask that we keep our antennas out for those who are new to the community or work or school environment. And if you get to know these persons and if the opportunity arises, invite them to Green Tree.
As I have shared with you in previous essays and sermons, approximately 85% of the people who go to church on a regular basis are there because a friend or relative invited them. The days are long past where we put up a sign in front of the church and people flock to the front door. Friendship evangelism goes a long way.
We have a nice hospitality program in place for visitors. They are well received by the congregation when they come. They then receive a door step visit, usually within 48 to 72 hours, from someone in the church who drops off a nice loaf of bread and a card thanking them for coming. This is not a long visit but simply a thank you visit for coming to our church. Later that week they receive a letter from me acknowledging their visit and inviting them to come back. After visitors come for a month or so, I normally sit down with them for a “Newcomers Briefing” where we talk about our church and what we have to offer to them.
Again, people are likely to come to church if someone they know invites them. Let us all make an effort to identify persons with whom we interact on a regular basis and invite them to come to Green Tree to be part of our congregation. Together, let us share the love of Jesus Christ with others.